National Ombudsman: no decision on police raid on Bonaire

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Policeofficer on Bonaire

The National Ombudsman has refrained from issuing a decision on a complaint against the police filed by a resident of Bonaire. In a newly published report on the case, which centres on a police raid, the Ombudsman concludes that the differences in the statements given by the parties involved are too stark to reach a clear conclusion and that the inquiry was hampered by a lack of professional reporting.

As a result, the Ombudsman has been unable to establish exactly what took place during the raid. However, the Ombudsman did find serious shortcomings in the report of the raid drawn up by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) and has expressed the official view that this body acted contrary to the requirement of professionalism.

Incomplete police report

The complaint concerns the actions of police officers of the Dutch Caribbean Police Force (Korps Politie Caribisch Nederland, KPCN) on Bonaire. According to the complainant, the police used excessive force during a raid on his home. Police officers’ statements contradict the complainant’s account of the events. A report drawn up by KMar, the body which authorised the raid, should have provided clear and incontrovertible answers to questions about the actions taken during the raid. But the KMar report was found to contain a lack of factual information, making it impossible to establish what happened.

Recommendation made to KMar

The Ombudsman is not in a position to reach a decision on police conduct if no professional report exists. He has therefore advised KMar to draw up a full police report after all future raids, one which meets all of the professional requirements and legal obligations.